“We did some good things at times,” Stoops added. “Had some drives and didn’t capitalize. A lot of things to improve on.”
Virginia Tech transfer Tayvion Robinson supplied Kentucky’s other chunk plays, catching six passes for a career-high 136 yards in his Wildcats debut. His first touch went for 45 yards to set up Levis’ 6-yard TD pass to Brenden Bates on the Wildcats’ first possession to tie it at 7.
Miami managed to tie the game at 10 and stifled Kentucky at times in the first half but only managed Graham Nicholson’s 27-yard field goal midway through the third quarter. Tyre Shelton scored the Redhawks’ lone TD with a 22-yard run on their opening drive. Brett Gabbert completed 20 of 28 passes for 166 yards before leaving the game late with what coach Chuck Martin said was a non-throwing arm injury.
Kentucky outgained the Mid-American Conference school 353-290.
“We came in ready to play, ready to win,” Martin said. “But those first couple of minutes (of the second half), you can’t afford to do that against an SEC team.”
The Wildcats played without leading rusher Chris Rodriguez, who Stoops said was unavailable along with linebacker Jordan Wright without being specific. The coach added that Rodriguez and other players could face multi-game suspensions next week for undisclosed reasons.
Robert Morris at Miami, 6 p.m., ESPN3, 980, 1450